Syracuse Football: Three living legends I’d like to converse with over pizza

Syracuse football (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Have you ever as a fan of Syracuse football (or other teams) found certain players or coaches you think are particularly interesting? We all have different journeys in life and different personalities so I’d imagine the names would vary based on the individual. What if you could meet those legends?

So today I’m driving by a local CNY pizzeria while thinking about the Orange and pondered this idea. What if I could sit down over a pizza with any three Syracuse football living greats and share a conversation with them? It made me think about who I would choose and what particular topics would I want to discuss.

For the purposes of this post, I’ll stick to living legends and maybe explore deceased legends another time. I am a 49-year-old, lifelong fan so my fandom has expanded over 5 different decades. This would mean the list is long, so narrowing it down to three is tough but here I go.

Three Syracuse football greats that I’d like to hang out with while sharing a pizza.

1- Don McPherson

My all-time favorite Orange football player, Don McPherson was the quarterback for the 1987 undefeated season and Heisman runner-up. Don and that season are a huge reason I’m the level of Syracuse fan that I am today.

McPherson is also an inspiration off the field encouraging men to be leaders in the community and author of “You Throw Like A Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity”, where he discusses how masculine behavior can lead to abuse and neglect of women and in relationships.

I would love to talk about his life on the field and off it. I’d love to share how much I’m a fan of the Orange football team because of him. I’d also love to tell him how proud I am as a fan of the man he became advocating for men to treat women with respect and helping to reduce violence against women.

2- Paul Pasqualoni

Coach Paul Pasqualoni! I loved Coach P! I will go to my grave believing he was unjustly fired because someone wanted to make SU the USC of the east coast instead of embracing what we had and trying to improve on it. I also happen to know he was beloved in the Syracuse community by those who met him and knew him. I only happened to see him once from afar in the BJ’s parking lot but was unable to actually say hello, unfortunately.

I’d also love to pick his brain about names like Michael Vick, Ray Rice, Donovan McNabb and others. Also, what would he have done had his services been retained? And maybe even ask about his experiences in the NFL as well as a coach for several teams including the Dallas Cowboys, and he is currently a defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers at the age of 72. I might even ask him about his time in the Syracuse community and his favorite places to eat and visit.

3- Dwight Freeney

Arguably one of, if not the, best defensive player to ever play football for Syracuse University, Dwight was also a 1st round NFL draft pick who had a Hall of Fame-level NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts for 16 seasons.

I’d love to talk to Dwight not only about his time at Syracuse and in the NFL but pick his brain about the future of the Orange. What would he tell someone wanting to go from Syracuse football to the NFL? What advice would he give them on the field, in the weight room and in general to succeed at his level? Would he be interested in coaching or mentoring current Syracuse football players? Did he spend any time at 44’s/Konrad’s and have any good stories if he did? And where did he come up with his famous spin move and why was it so successful?

Next. Syracuse Football: Why I’m pleased with star running back Sean Tucker. dark